Women’s Asia Cup: India coach Ramesh Pawar defends batting-line-up change in Pakistan defeat

Indian women’s head coach Ramesh Pawar has defended his batting line-up in their 13-run defeat against Pakistan in the Asia Cup, saying the primary objective of the team management is to test the character of youngsters in stressful situations.

”It’s not a setback… we don’t think that way. We faced a problem that needed to be resolved,” Pawar said at the post-match media interaction.

The head coach said that India wanted to test their new-look middle order in a pressure match against Pakistan after three straight wins, giving them pole position in the points table.

“It’s a pre-planned thing that we want to try some young guys who can take over that role after three games. We wanted to make (Dayalan) Hemalatha, Pooja (Vastragar), Richa (Ghosh) and Radha (Yadav) look young. “The aim was to send them and make them feel the pressure,” he said.

Smriti (Mandhana), Jemima (Rodriguez) and Harmanpreet have been doing it for a long time, so they have to go through these stressful situations. We wanted to fill this gap before the World Cup. We wanted to do that in the Asia Cup as we didn’t have many games ahead of the World Cup — just five games against Australia,” said the former India off-spinner.

India will open the Women’s T20 World Cup against Pakistan on February 12 in Cape Town. India have been placed in Group 2 along with England, West Indies, Pakistan and Ireland.

Group 1 features five-time winners and defending champions Australia along with New Zealand, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

The top two teams in each division will advance to the semi-finals. Pawar said that he wants to build an all-conditions team and this match against Pakistan is the perfect opportunity to test his youngsters.

“We have been playing for a long time and most of the (players) in the team have played enough cricket to understand the importance of the India-Pakistan game. They also understand where we stand in the league stage and why we are doing this.” – Competitors.

“Six league games allow us to do that and we wouldn’t have tried it if the teams were in groups. We want to build our team for all situations and all pressure situations. “Obviously, we want to win the game.”

Asked if there was extra pressure on them, he said: “Not really, otherwise we wouldn’t have tried a different batting order. “We (the team management) thought we should get through this stage without trying regular match-winners (for a change). We have full confidence in them. “There is, so we (the rookies) tried it. Otherwise we wouldn’t have done it,” he said.

India next face defending Asia Cup champions Bangladesh on Saturday and Pawar said they will return to their best playing XI.

“From now on we will put our best foot forward and give it our all.” They are a good side and were champions last time. We try to see them as a competitive unit. “But we’re also coming back from a good season and hopefully we’ll carry that confidence and make sure we stay grounded and focus on our strengths,” he signed off.

— Ends —

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